Highways England’s contractors A-one+ are using a new machine in Northumberland that allows underlying road layers to be recycled and laid back down immediately during resurfacing.
The Cold Recycler 2200 CR made by the Wirtgen Group can churn up old surface material and combine it with new material within the body of the machine before laying it back down on the road behind.
This is the only machine of its kind to be used in the UK, Highways England said, and is being trialled on more than a mile of the A1 at Brownieside in Northumberland, with the possibility of being rolled-out further.
In a statement Highways England said the new technology means that up to 1,000 tonnes per hour can be resurfaced compared to an average of 100 tonnes per hour using conventional methods.
There is also a 75% reduction in the amount of quarried stone used on the job, a 66% reduction in the amount of waste taken to landfill and 70% fewer lorry trips to and from site, it said.
Highways England project manager Steve Bishop said: ‘This new technology is brilliant news for the thousands of drivers that use motorways and major A roads in the North East, who will benefit from smoother and safer journeys.
‘There are lots of benefits to using this new way of working. It means we can resurface larger areas of road, there are fewer construction vehicle trips and the road surface is designed to last for at least 10 years, meaning that we shouldn’t need to go back to carry out further repairs any time soon meaning less disruption for drivers.
‘The process is already successfully used in the USA, France and China. We are always working with our partners to trial new technologies that will help us to minimise disruption to drivers while we carry out essential road maintenance.’
Currently normal resurfacing processes involve the old surface being planed off and dealt with separately.